Watershed Success Stories in Clearwater County

Clear Water Landcare’s Gary Lewis organized a one-day conference in Rocky Mountain House, Clearwater County on October 17 that included a series of 8-10 minute talks on several projects that have had a positive impact on the land and water use in the region.

Here are the titles, speakers and brief outlines of the talks:

  • The Living by Water Program at Sylvan Lake. Graeme Strathdee, SLWSS. The Sylvan Lake Watershed Stewardship Society has been working with property owners who live beside the lake through a Living by Water program, helping these residents to understand and manage environmental risk. This is a report on the four-year campaign. Click on the link above to see the graphics.
  • Stewardship of the historic Bighorn Trail. Carolyn Campbell, Alberta Wilderness Association. In 1994, under Alberta Forest Service’s trail adoption program, AWA assumed maintenance of roughly 100 km of the historic Bighorn Trail through the Wapiabi-Blackstone area of the Bighorn. Since then, AWA members have undertaken annual summer maintenance trips to the Bighorn Trail. The Trail is at least as old as the Alberta Forest Service and National Parks Service, who jointly built a trail system along the Eastern Slopes north to Athabasca River headwaters. AWA trail maintenance keeps the equestrian trail open to outfitters and other travelers and protects the wettest areas of the trail from impacts.  
  • Humming along in the Hummingbird. Don Livingston, ESRD. Volunteers with ATV user groups have been maintaining and improving back country trails for some time.  This investment of volunteer time and money is a testament to the volunteer spirit.
  • Industry leadership in Conservation. Eleanor Vokes, Bonavista Energy. Bonavista and others in the oil and gas industry work closely with Landowners to go the extra mile in many environmental cases – this story is a snap shot of some of what is being done.
  • Responsible recreation inspiration using Sasquatch (seriously). Jim Duncan (Division 1 Councilor) and Eric Berg (Shell Canada). The legend of Sasquatch lives on in a unique way of telling others to use the West Country responsibly.
  • Ag and Acreage Practice Change. Gary Lewis, Clear Water Landcare. Since the Rocky Riparian Group formally organized in 1999 there has been a fruitful relationship with Clearwater County and landowners.  Numbers only tell part of the story – the rest of the story is in the changes people have made to their farm operations.
  • Protecting weak soils and fragile environments using technology. Duncan Sutherland/ Amanda Walker, Paradox Reclamation. PRS/ Paradox is the largest producer of three-dimensional cellular technology systems (geocells) in the world.  As a leader in soil confinement and reinforcement technology for over a decade PRS has developed advanced means of soil protection.
  • Fences, Stream banks and Steers. Glenn Mainland. For two decades Glenn has managed cattle adjacent the North Raven River using a single wire electric fence, off stream watering and recently a cattle crossing using some soil stabilizing technology. Glenn has been involved, first with Rocky Riparian Group and more recently its successor Clear Water Landcare.  Glenn is keen about land and water management and about best practices on his own quarter section along the North Raven River.
  • Cleaning Water Using Advanced Technology. Jordan Hanna, ClearFlow Group. ClearFlow works closely with various industries, Universities and Government Agencies to provide proprietary and patented water treatment processes to solve some of the toughest problems.  These cutting edge technologies work in urban, rural and industrial (including agricultural) settings.
  • Grazing Cattle Successfully in Wooded Areas. Jeff Renton, Alberta Woodlot Extension Society. Some call the practice of managed grazing in wooded areas Silvopasture and in fact there is an important science behind successfully grazing amongst and alongside the trees and shrubs.
  • Effects of Land Use Changes on Flow and Water Quality in Streams and Rivers. Michael Sullivan. Government of Alberta, Edmonton. See this report that expands on the scope of his keynote talk.

Originally known as the Rocky Riparian Group, the name Clear Water Landcare, was adopted in 2010 to reflect the importance of upland and lowland management and the role that everyone plays in caring for land and water – whether you live in urban or rural areas.

The presentations will be linked to this article when they become available.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s